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Still Alive and Kicking

It's been a week without blogging for me, which is strange. I've been sick with a killer earache (as in, o please don't let me lose my hearing earache), I've been on deadline, and I've gotten heartily sick of my deadline.

The only upside is that while sick, I read books. The roundup of this particular contagion-induced reading spree:
  1. Read Kushiel's Scion. V. disappointing. Male protagonist was not that sympathetic despite constant references to childhood abuse. Bleh. My stomach aches thinking of it.

  2. Read ellen_kushner's Privilege of the Sword. Excellent stuff. Witty is tough to write.

  3. Read Legend by the late David Gemell. If a summer movie could take literary form, this is it. Stuff blows up, old hero comes out of retirement for One Last Battle. Despite all the cliches, I enjoyed it tremendously. Possibly the painkillers, but I doubt it.

  4. Read The Map that Change the World. Recommended for anyone who loves geology or maps. Or early industrial England, for that matter.

  5. Read Liz Williams Snake Agent. Disappointing, though not as bad. Exotic Buddhist scenery was great, but ... weird SF elements were distracting.

  6. Read Brian Payton's In the Shadow of the Bear. Wonderful naturalism about my favorite animal, including sloth bears. They pretty much had me at "bear".
  7. Met Eric Cagle of No Quarter for lunch. Must do this more often. Have evil plans for Machine That Will Show Them All.


Now, to catch up on various writerly bits. I think I have a column due.

Comments

( 4 sutras — Your wisdom )
rhienelleth
Sep. 19th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
I almost cried when I read the news of Gemmell's death. I discovered him years ago on a trip to Victoria BC, and have hunted down all his books since.

If Legend is your first foray, I highly recommend all the other Druss books, and also Waylander, Waylander II, and Hero in the Shadows. Druss and Waylander are his greatest characters and best books, hands down. Though really, you can't go wrong with any Gemmell book, so long as you know what you're getting into, which is exactly what you described - escapist fantasy with cliched yet somehow endlessly engaging characters and fast reading prose. I love the way he writes.
the_monkey_king
Sep. 19th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'll be reading them on plane trips, on the beach, at the doctor's office, wherever I want a fun read. His style is really very well-done.
miketo
Sep. 19th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
I'll have to check out Map. Sounds like my kind of book.

A long time ago I really, really tried to like "Kushiel's Dart." The world was beautifully realized. But after a short time the edgy forays into BDSM wore thin. Nothing wrong with a little slap-and-tickle, mind you, but I just wasn't finding much plot that was hiding somewhere behind the brutality.

I hope Carey's other novels in the same world discovered more plot and less punishment. She's a good writer and I'd like to see what she can do with other topics.
the_monkey_king
Sep. 19th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
You would think that Scion, with the introduction of a new POV character, would be the perfect jumping on point for a new reader. And there is much less of the BDSM elements, but as for having a plot... not really. It's all setup for (presumbably) the next two books in the trilogy. Feh.

Great worldbuilding. Lousy plotting.
( 4 sutras — Your wisdom )

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